Pathmark's 'Go Fresh, Go Local' Unit a Template for Future Stores

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Pathmark's 'Go Fresh, Go Local' Unit a Template for Future Stores

CARTERET, N.J. -- Pathmark's first "Go Fresh, Go Local" unit, embodying the chain's latest branding and merchandising initiatives, is a prototype that will seed future strategic remodels, several of which are in "the planning process" and should be completed by the end of the year, Pathmark's spokesman, Rich Savner, told Progressive Grocer yesterday.

The first "Go Fresh, Go Local" store, an overhauled 55,400-square-foot full-service unit in Kinnelon, N.J. that was opened in January, will also influence future ground-up projects, Savner added.

"New stores being built will incorporate these concepts," Savner said, although such incorporation wouldn't necessarily be "all-inclusive."

At the store's grand reopening, Pathmark c.e.o. John Standley called the Kinnelon prototype "the culmination of a comprehensive design process which included incorporating consumer research, merchandising strategies, and operational input to develop a compelling retail footprint that can be easily replicated."

Pathmark worked on the Kinnelon renovation with the retail division of Colemanbrandworx (CBX), a New York-based strategic branding, design, and consultancy agency. CBX said the Northeast regional grocer had asked it to suggest improvements to the perishable and nonfood departments.

Savner noted that Pathmark has received a "great reaction" to the Kinnelon location from shoppers, who are particularly "receptive" to the lighting and signage, both of which impart "a different feel to the store. It's a view of Pathmark they haven't seen before," he added.

"Customers entering the Kinnelon store will be immediately impressed with the new 'Produce Market'," noted Joseph Bona, president of CBX's retail division.

CBX said the Kinnelon store employs freestanding wooden floor fixtures, specialty lighting, and a warm color palette on the walls, ceiling, and flooring treatments. Enclosed by refrigerated cases, the produce department features repositionable track head lighting over moveable floor fixtures.

Signage uses photos of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with phrases such as "Just picked," "Farm fresh," and "Vine ripened." Price markers spotlight specific varieties of produce as well as weekly promotions and specialty items.

CBX said the merchandising elements evoke authenticity and a connection to the areas where Pathmark has most of its stores. For instance, the deli has been branded "The Original 59th Street Delicatessen," while "Chelsea Baking Company" appears on the in-house bakery's storefront awning and oval sign, and stainless-finish dimensional letters spell out "Chesapeake Seafood Company" over the fresh fish department.

Center store received new VCT tile and updated aisle directories and markers. New high-end specialty fixtures are now in the home office, hardware, baby, and nutrition/wellness sections.

Pathmark, which has agreed to merger with the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., operates 141 stores in the New York-New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

CBX's other retail clients include Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, General Mills, and CadburySchweppes.